Tamarind drink is simple to make and so refreshing! Made of fresh tamarind pulp and simple syrup, it’s a delicious way to hydrate all year.
Our Southern California temperature today was almost fever pitch; you could have fried an egg on the pavement if you tried. Alright, I am exaggerating, but it was pretty darn hot! I felt so sluggish and out of energy the whole afternoon; you couldn’t have nudged me out of my seat if you tried.
I was sprawled on our sofa, most probably dehydrated, when G handed me a tall glass serving of this tamarind drink. Sweet, tangy, and icy cold, it was the perfect refreshment!
What is Refresco de Tamarindo
Tamarind drink is a type of agua fresca popular throughout Latin America and typically sold in most Mexican food courts here in Southern California.
It’s made of fresh, ripe tamarind pods that are shelled and deveined and then simmered in water to soften and extract the pulp. The resulting pulp is strained, diluted with additional water, and sweetened with simple syrup to taste. It’s enjoyed chilled or served over ice as a refreshment.
This flavored water is not really known beverage in the local Filipino food scene, but since the tamarind fruit is widely used in our cuisine and readily available in our markets, I urge you to try it. It’s loaded with bright, fresh fruit flavor and a great way to hydrate this Summer and all year long.
- Make sure to use ripe tamarind pods, not the unripe green ones used for sinigang. If you want to skip separating the skins from the pods or you’re unable to source fresh pods, you can buy tamarind blocks or pulp at Mexican grocers or online. Just check to make sure it’s pure tamarind with no additives.
- Although you can just stir sugar directily in the mixture, I like to use simple syrup. Sugar doesn’t dissolve well in cold liquids and tends to settle in the bottom. Heating it in equal parts of water until fully dissolved ensures your next glass of juice is perfectly sweetened.
- Feel free to adjust the amount of water or simple syrup depending on the sweetness or tartness you like.
- If serving over ice, prepare drink stronger and more concentrated as the melted ice will dilute the taste.
- Stir the drink before serving to redistribute any solids that settled at the bottom.
How to serve
Agua de tamarindo, or tamarind water, is a delicious refreshment to enjoy year-round. For the best taste, serve chilled or over ice.
More beverage recipes
More drink recipes
- 8 cups water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 pound ripe tamarind pods
- In a saucepan over medium heat, combine 1 cup of the water and sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved.
- Allow the simple syrup to cool completely and set aside.
- Shell and devein tamarind pods.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, combine tamarind and 3 cups of the water.
- Bring to a simmer, stirring and mashing with the back of a spoon until softened and mixture is thickened. The flesh at this point has mostly peeled from the seeds.
- Set a fine-mesh sieve over a pitcher. Place tamarind pulp in the sieve and slowly add the remaining 4 cups water, mashing with the back of the spoon to extract any remaining pulp. Strain and discard seeds.
- Sweeten the tamarind water with simple syrup to taste and stir well. Serve over ice.
- Use ripe tamarind pods, not the unripe green ones used for sinigang. If you want to skip separating the skins from the pods or you’re unable to source fresh pods, you can buy tamarind blocks or pulp at Mexican grocers or online. Just check to make sure it’s pure tamarind with no additives.
- Stir the drink before serving to redistribute any solids that might have settled at the bottom.
“This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.”
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